Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin


 As long as I can remember my Mom has always been an avid crock pot user, and I think this is what started my love for all day one-pot meals. The crock pot is tied in first with my food processor as my favorite kitchen gadget, and I find any excuse to use it. I often take recipes that are not meant for the crock pot and try to figure out how to make them taste good in the crock pot. This has not worked out too well for some things (chili is just not the same), but is fantastic for others. For weeks I have been in the mood to make my favorite pork tenderloin recipe, but I just haven't had the time to actually stand over the stove and make it.

The Bride and her maids!

Now that it's over I can say that for MONTHS I have been plotting and planning with some other wonderful ladies for my BFF's bridal shower! It happened this past Saturday, and I'd say it went great! With how busy I always am, though, I had to take off on Thursday to do a lot of the prep work, and instead of cooking on Friday night I was setting up and decorating for the shower. I even skipped class (!!!!) on Saturday morning to finish setting up and cooking food. So, where did that leave me?? WITH NO MEALS FOR THE WEEK!

All my cupcakes!
 
Candy table! We had so many good treats!
 I was kind of stressing out about it on Sunday, though I wasn't stressing too much. I spent a great day with Adam and two of our really good friends having a "Sunday Funday." After the bridal shower on Saturday Adam and I had gone over our friend Julia and Kevin's house for their house-warming party. Of course, there wound up being tons of left over food and beer. So, we were invited back over their house, and spent the whole day Sunday being bums, snacking, drinking, and watching movies. It was really fantastic!

That's me on the left, making the gift list! And Connie looking super happy in the middle!
Then came Monday. I actually woke up quite early on Monday and spent a good deal of time standing in my kitchen before work trying to figure out what I was going to eat for lunch. I wound up just packing some snacks and grabbing a salad for lunch at the hospital cafeteria because there was nothing that would make a decent meal in my fridge without some thought! I decided that since Tuesday is my only night off during the week I'd have to make something delicious, even if it meant slaving over the stove when I should be studying for my A&P midterm coming up on Wednesday! Of course I have class on Monday nights, and the only store I can get to after class and get home at a decent time is the Russian market by me, but I had to RUN there, because it closes at 9, and my train drops me off at 8:30.
Crock pot time!

Of course on my train ride home I realized that I could not, in fact, spend my Tuesday night making a delicious pork tenderloin. Adam and I have taken the day off on Friday to go up to Jack Frost Mountain in the Poconos. We're going to check out the Preston & Steve Cardboard Classic, and we're thinking about maybe trying skiing or snowboarding! I'm very excited for this upcoming Friday, but I don't have any cold weather clothes!! I had already planned to stop by the new Marshall's on Market Street after work Tuesday afternoon because the few times I've been in there, they've always had great deals on Under Armor gear. Now here comes my dilemma; I have no food, but I don't have any time on Tuesday night to cook any for the week. WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO?! Bust out the crock pot, of course!

After speeding around the Russian market I realized I was going to have to tweak my favorite pork recipe even more. The market had about a hundred different kinds of ketchup, but NO mustard, and the recipe calls for whole grain mustard. How is that even possible?! I went with it, though, as I remembered Alicia telling me about a great pork recipe she made in the crock pot the other week that involved honey and brown sugar. I figured there would probably be enough sweet with the apples, so I could skip on the brown sugar, but I'd give the honey a try.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 Large onion
  • 1/2 C white wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Honey
I woke up extra early this morning and pulled my crock pot out. I cored and thinly sliced one of the apples, and spread it around the bottom of the crock pot. Then, I thinly sliced half of the onion and spread it on top of the apple. I repeated this with the other apple and other half of the onion. Then I poured the 1/2 cup of white wine vinegar over the mixture. When I cook this on the stove, I usually saturate the onion and apple mixture with the white wine vinegar, but knowing that there are going to be juices from the pork, I wasn't too worried about it. I stuck the entire pork tenderloin right on top of the apple/onion mixture, seasoned it with the salt, pepper, oregano, onion powder and garlic powder, then drizzled honey all across the top. I didn't measure any of these, I just went with what looked good to me. I put the crock pot on low, got ready for work, and threw together a quick lunch and breakfast.


Lookin' good when I got home from work!
I had some leftover shredded chicken from the buffalo chicken dip I had made for the shower, so I mixed that up with some pesto hummus I had made on Thursday in between trays of cupcakes. I figured I could put that on some whole grain crackers, and at least I would have a semi-decent lunch. I also packed an apple, a banana, a string cheese, and a home-made granola bar (I'm experimenting so I can give you the PERFECT recipe!). I had a little bit of chili left over from last week that was not enough to eat as a meal itself, so I scrambled it up with two eggs. It was delish!! Then I took a quick whiff of my pork-tenderloin concoction before running out the door, and decided I was super excited for dinner tonight!

So yummy!
 The pork in this dish cooked much longer than when I usually cook it because of being in the crock pot, but the flavors came together so well, it was delish! After shopping and getting some super great deals, I was way too excited to get home and have this dinner. I had grabbed some green beans to blanch at the train station, and it really completed the meal. Now let's all pray that I do great on my A&P midterm tomorrow!!

What is your favorite meal to cook in the crock pot? What was your best success? Your worst experiment?

2 comments:

  1. My mouth is watering that looks so good. I'm not a fan of mustard so I do like that you didn't use it in your recipe. We just bought a new crock pot so soon as he moves and settles in I'm using it to make this.

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    Replies
    1. You'll have to let me know how it goes!

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